Author Archives: Scott Johnson

Loose threads in the curious case (11)

Featured image I wrote this column for City Journal in September 2017. There is a story here. It is the same story I have been pursuing now for three years: A little over a year ago [in 2016], I recounted “The Curious Case of Ilhan Omar” for City Journal readers. Omar had just won a primary victory over 22-term incumbent Phyllis Kahn to secure the Minnesota Democratic Farmer Labor Party (DFL) endorsement »

(Don’t) leave it to Cleaver

Featured image Roll Call has a good account of what happened on the House floor yesterday as Nancy Pelosi violated House rules for the all-important purpose of calling President Trump racist. FOX News has a fuller story here. When Rep. Doug Collins challenged the propriety of Pelosi’s remarks, Pelosi asserted that she had cleared them with the House parliamentarian. This appears to have been a lie. Roll Call reports: Collins set off »

Loose threads in the curious case (10)

Featured image Given the elevated attention President Trump has showered on Ilhan Omar, the Drudge Report now links to the June 23 page-one Star Tribune story by Patrick Coolican and Stephen Montemayor under the awkward headline “New documents revisit questions about Rep. Ilhan Omar’s marriage history.” The Star Tribune story provides mainstream validation to points we have made here repeatedly over the past three years, including points we made recently in our »

Ilhan Omar explained

Featured image Taking issue with one of President Trump’s comments yesterday in the controversy of the moment, CNN explains that Rep. Ilhan Omar didn’t actually praise al Qaeda in her 2013 comments (video below). CNN devotes two reporters to the task of reconstruction and offers this grudging concession: “It is possible to argue that Omar was making light of al Qaeda’s crimes in suggesting that its name itself is what makes people »

Identity politics explained

Featured image Rep. Ayanna Pressley is the least known of the four horsewomen of the Democrat apocalypse, but tune into her teaching. She has condensed the doctrine of identity politics that they promote into a totalitarian catechism (video below). Here we have identity politics for dummies — the Democrat variation of the Know Nothing movement. As Lincoln put it: Our progress in degeneracy appears to me to be pretty rapid. As a »

McGrath vs. McConnell

Featured image The National Journal’s Josh Kraushaar leads with the ordeal of Kentucky Democratic senatorial candidate Amy McGrath in his National Journal story “It’s not easy being a red-state Democrat.” Politico Playbook gave this concise account of McGrath’s rocky rollout last week, offered here for your entertainment value (emphasis in original): WHAT TEAM MITCH AND THE NRSC ARE SALIVATING OVER — “McGrath flip-flops on whether she would have voted to put Kavanaugh »

Trump’s immigration edge

Featured image The folks who put out Axios peddle an almost relentlessly hostile line against President Trump. Their lead item this morning, for example, by Mike Allen, asserts that it is a “Tough time to be a Trump supporter.” Personally, I’m dealing with it and carrying on. I have been helped along this morning by the Axios report from Warren, Michigan on the results of a focus group “of 12 swing voters »

Harvey Klehr: The Millionaire Was a Soviet Mole

Featured image Harvey Klehr is the Andrew W. Mellon professor emeritus of politics and history at Emory University, and co-author, with John Haynes, of The Secret World of American Communism, Venona: Decoding Soviet Espionage in America, and In Denial: Historians, Communism & Espionage. Tomorrow is the official publication date of Professor Klehr’s new book, The Millionaire Was a Soviet Mole: The Twisted Life of David Karr. We invited Professor Klehr to bring »

Musical notes

Featured image I am crazy about American popular music. I admire the songwriters, the performers, the musicians, the producers, the historians and even (in the case of Norman Granz) the managers. In just the past year, for example, I have paid tribute to Ella Fitzgerald (and Granz), Bob Dylan, David Bromberg, Ann Hampton Callaway, Frank Sinatra, Johnny Hartman and John Coltrane, Mel Torme, Sarah Vaughan, Nancy LaMott, Philip Furia (for his books »

Sunday morning coming down

Featured image Ernest Hemingway famously declared: “All modern American literature comes from one book by Mark Twain called Huckleberry Finn. It’s the best book we’ve had.” For me, all American music comes from one band founded by Roger McGuinn called the Byrds. It’s the best band we’ve had. Yesterday McGuinn turned 77. Long may he run. Chris Hillman was the Byrds’ original bassist. He had become a California bluegrass star fronting his »

In his reply

Featured image Former ICE Director Tom Homan had a few choice words for Rep. Chuy Garcia during a House Oversight and Government Reform Committee hearing on Friday (video below). Homan resented the Democrats’ use of him as a stage prop in their political theater. Expressing my views exactly, Homan observed: “First of all your comments are disgusting!” Garcia echoed him, schoolyard style. Homan continued: “I’ve served my country 34 years. This is »

The song remains the same

Featured image Driving over to see the Center of the American Experiment’s worldwide premiere of No Safe Spaces at the Parkway Theater this past Tuesday, I had a flashback to the premiere of a movie that we promoted at the Campus Theater in 2007: Indoctrinate U. That film also depicted the parlous state of free speech in higher education. After working on the film for three years, director Evan Coyne Maloney came »

Army War College surrenders

Featured image Raymond Ibrahim is the author, most recently, of Sword and Scimitar: Fourteen Centuries of War Between Islam and the West, published last year with a foreword by Victor Davis Hanson. Ibrahim is the Judith Friedman Rosen Writing Fellow at the Middle East Forum and a frequent contributor to the Gatestone site; his Gatestone columns are compiled here. He knows whereof he writes. Ibrahim had planned to lecture on his book »

Multiculturalism vs. America

Featured image The Claremont Institute’s American Mind site is full of features, essays, podcasts and other material that repays your time with a deepened understanding of the most challenging political issues. American Mind podcasts are separately posted here. They offer a wealth of riches. In its most recent podcast, American Mind explores the intellectual roots, political and societal implications of, and the antidote to, what the Claremont Institute believes is the great »

Thoughts from the ammo line

Featured image Ammo Grrrll declares: GOD, I LOVE AMERICANS! She writes: Preview: Next Friday I will discuss the origin of this Road Trip and my fabulous Third of July time at the Baden Ranch in Bozeman, Montana. But today I offer these observations: The natural beauty of this great and good country can scarcely be overstated. A trip through the Southwest, West and Midwest which starts out from the desert and canyons »

Carlson versus Omar

Featured image Tucker Carlson has highlighted Ilhan Omar’s unusual ingratitude to the country that took her in as a refugee. Omar is one of the luckiest people in the world. As we have noted many times, however, she is a bottomless fount of grievances and complaints. Although Omar was elected to Congress to represent Minnesota’s Fifth District at the age of 36, when it comes to her life in the United States, »

Kamala’s Kase

Featured image The idea of reparations for the descendants of slaves has become respectable across a wide swath of the Democratic Party and its top tier Democratic candidates. This past February, Kamala Harris talked around the issue when asked directly about it by Natasha Alford (interview excerpt here). Harris didn’t express support for targeted payments to “black people,” but she couldn’t bring herself to say that she opposed them either. By April, »